In an effort to reduce the unemployment rate in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria, said it has approved the sum of N3 million credit line to each beneficiary of Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Development Programme, YIEDP.
The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who disclosed this during the launch of the programme in Abuja, said that a credit line of up to N3 million would be made available to each eligible youth.
According to him, recipients who were on records to have made good utilization of the funds would be encouraged to migrate to other CBN intervention schemes that would enable them access more funds. He said that the scheme was launched by the bank in response to unemployment among the youths in the country.
Emefiele said, “The alarming figures coming from the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, NBS, which put the number of Nigerian Youths in the labour market at 36.3 million, representing 48 percent of the entire labour force, could not be allowed to degenerate further, given the bright ideas and big dreams to the youth”.
“To this effect, the CBN initiated programme would provide timely and affordable credit to assist youths in implementing their business ideas, and will target 10,000 youths in productive activities within the next four years. He Added that the programme was open to youth corps members and those with not more than five years of post-NYSC experience.
‘’The collateral required for the participation in the programme, that the bank would make such assets including academic and NYSC certificates, third party guarantee and other moveable assets as collateral for all successful candidates.”
Speaking earlier, the Director General of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Brigadier General Johnson Bamidele Olawumi, whose organisation has joint hands with the CBN to float the YIEDP, said ‘’The programme would provide world class training start-up capital to the youth corps members who have indicated interest in skill acquisition and entrepreneurship”.
He added that; ‘’ the programme was designed to complement other inventions of the NYSC such as the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development, SAED, founded in 2012 and Graduate Entrepreneurship Fund, GEF, launched in the collaboration with the Bank of Industry, BOI”. Olawumi urged corps members nationwide to take advantage of the opportunity by coming up with creative ideas and bankable business plans that would qualify them to access the fund.
Also speaking, the Deputy Governor, Economic Policy , Dr.(Mrs.) Sarah Alade said; ‘’the youth entrepreneurship programme is very important in view of the need to urgently and meaningfully engage Nigerian youths, who now form over 70 percent of the population, in productive activities.” She expressed confidence that the programme would boost job creation efforts in the country, as well as evolve new crop young entrepreneurs who will make Nigeria globally competitive, eradicate importation of those goods that we can produce locally and put the country on the path of sustainable economic growth.
“This programme which in collaboration of Heritage bank, in other to help Nigerian Youths, knowing they hold the future of the country, should embrace this programme in other to set up empires to help nation building and growth in the economy of the nation, which is aimed at eradicating toughs in the country, in other to make Nigeria youths more productive to our nation.”